Ever wonder why you’re extra irritable or lack patience after a sleepless night only to return to normal after getting some shut-eye? This is because sleep & mood are directly connected. A lack of sleep can hinder you from thinking clearly and keeping your emotions at an even keel. Studies show that excessive sleepiness can hurt work performance, wreak havoc on relationships, and lead to mood problems like anxiety and depression.
It’s rare for people to sleep well all the time. You may be sleep deprived temporarily due to life events but can catch up after a few extra hours of sleep. However, long-term sleep deficits can cause long-term side effects and health concerns. Research has shown that long-term sleeplessness adds vulnerabilities to the common cold, diabetes, cancer, coronary heart disease, anxiety, and depression. It can also be dangerous. Sleepiness makes your reaction time slower, which is especially dangerous when driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that at least 100,000 crashes reported to police each year are due to driver fatigue. You don’t need to fall asleep at the wheel to be a danger — drowsiness alone can be as dangerous as driving drunk. Driving while sleepy is like driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% — over the legal limit in many states. If you find that you consistently get less than 5 hours of sleep per night, you should speak with a medical professional regarding the best ways to remedy the problem before it becomes a bigger issue for you and for others.
by Gina Stallone